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Star Trek V-The Final Frontier

st5

1989

Who’s in this?

Outside of the regular Enterprise cast we have…

Laurence Luckinbill as Sybok, Spock’s long haired, smiling, God-seeking half-brother. He worked in TV and made for TV movies quite a bit in the 70’s and 80’s.

Out of the rest cast I’d say the ones that deserve being mentioned most are these.

David Warner as St. John Talbot the Federation representitive who gets pulled in by Sybok. Warner was a very accomplished British character actor even by this time. He was in the Omen, the Titanic, From beyond the grave, tons of cartoon voices and he would be back as different character in Star Trek 6 and in STTNG.

Rex Hollman as J’onn the bald, messed up teeth dude who followed Sybok and is in the opening sequence. He was Morgan Earp in the Spectre of the gun episode of the original series. That was no stretch and he was in various episodes of numerous 60’s westerns. He actually clocked in over 100 credits with this one because the last one listed at IMDB.

The Klingon couple Todd Bryant as Klaa and Spice Williams as Vixis had both some experience as stunt people by the time of this film. Both have continued in that field and had steady work as stunt people in films and are both still in that line today.

STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER

Maybe if we shove Shatner out and leave him here he’ll never direct another film.

What’s this about? So check this out. Spock has a half-brother and he wants to go look for God because he thinks God is hanging out on this planet far, far away. The Enterprise is in crap shape and Kirk is wearing a silly t-shirt, but they are still sent to stop Spock’s half brother. Yet they instead let the Enterprise get taken after Uhura lures guys in by being naked, Spock neck pinches a horse creature and Kirk wrestles a cat woman. Oh and there’s this Klingon captain who looks like he’s into weight lifting and 80’s hair metal and like he’s out to make a name for himself by going after Kirk as well. There’s some parts with the big three around a campfire and Kirk saying he knows that when he dies he’ll alone and that theme is sort of throughout the film somewhere between all the crap bits jammed into this thing. Spock’s half brother Sybok can take pain from others and that’s mainly how he gets followers. He’s kind of a rebel for a Vulcan and shows emotions so we can all laugh at Spock acting stiff as he cringes at people knowing about his  hippie brother. Eventually Kirk is pretty much always right in this one as he wins out over the fake God, Sybok’s quest and the pretty boy Klingon gunner/Captain. Roll the credits and put your face in your hands.

spocksybok

I could shoot you, but maybe I should shoot that Shatner guy for making this movie.

The negatives-The main problem here is the story. It’s kind of like The way to Eden from the sereies which is a bottom five episode with elements of the first Trek movie too. It’s maybe worse here as Sybok’s character seems to get everything going but he’s taken in by what he eventually finds even though we all see it coming a mile aways. The Enterprise crew all seem to fumble more than they ever have and it’s not to all to blame on the troubles the ship is having. In the end this all comes across as a rather cheap, flimsy attempt to fit into the Trek universe. The effects are sub-par too.  I saw this opening weekend in 1989 and walked out thinking oh man they just made something worse than “Spock’s Brain”.

The positives-I kind of like the campfire scenes even if they are a bit too silly. They have Sulu and Checkov hiking which results in another silly joke, but it was nice to see them doing something as friends. It’s also implied that Scotty and Uhura were doing things maybe as friends or maybe as more than friends-either way I liked that it was mentioned. most of this is early on and after this anything positive for the the supporting crew is gone. The parts with Spock coming to terms with Sybok are okay, but don’t totally fit and they fail add a whole to Spock’s character.

This is a terrible film overall, the worst of all the Trek films. Someone needed to take a better look at that script and point out lame it was and how did so much damage the good that previous films had done for these characters. It was a joke and a bad one. The concept of looking for a higher power had been done in Trek and it could have been done here in a better way had they limited the humor, not made Kirk being the only being correct and have the concept of finding God be not so physical. Finding a floating being on an isolated planet seemed really limp and made Sybok look even sillier. Thinking about this film makes me want to quote a character from another scifi show…”oh, the pain, the pain”. Sybok should have taken away the pain I had after I saw this movie.

go-climb-a-rock

Star Trek week continues on Tuesday with a much more upbeat topic-my history with Star Trek although it may only interest me.

4 responses to “Star Trek V-The Final Frontier

  1. I actually find this to be an underrated film. The effects aren’t quite on par with the previous Trek films, but that was due to a slashed budget and the fact that all the major special effects houses were busy at the time working on Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids (Summer 1989 was pretty crowded!). Shatner made a bold move tackling religious fanaticism in a Star Trek film, and if Paramount had been more supportive of the film and not cut the budget, the end result would have been much better.

  2. I knew about the other films using the special effects crews, but it’s not like a Trek films hasn’t ever come out the same time as other big films. The worst problem here is the script. Yes, they tackled religion, but it was done in such a heavy handed manner and then it ended up being a monster. Budget limitations didn’t cause the script to be such a mess or for there to be so much cornball humor. This was just a film that fell short on several levels.

  3. Scott ⋅

    Star Trek V is my favorite of all of the films. There needs to be some mental preparation before one watches the film. Number one, if you have or can get the novel, it will open up so many facts about the relationship between Spock and his half brother Sybok. When you know about heir relationship and how strong it was, the film itself brings about some strong scenes with Spock.
    Number two, this film has to be viewed as if you were watching one of the original episodes. The comedy is there, the aliens and the strong bond with the crew.
    Number three, the campfire scene should be cherished for any true ST fan. Kirk had been vacationing with Spock and Bones, but Kirk was being very reckless. In the book, he was kayaking down a very dangerous river, free climbing El Cap and Bones was very angry with Kirk’s death wish. David’s death, the silence from Carol Marcus and the loss of the original Enterprise, all took their toll on him,
    When Bones says “Other people have families” and Kirk responds “Other people, not us..” At that point you can see the look on Kirk’s face as the memory of David still lingers.
    The last point I’d like to make is that this film should have been at least two hours long. The dramatic end of the film is compromised due to editing. When Kirk is alone on the planet “Sha Ka Ree”, Spock asks General Kordd to help and there is a pivotal scene where Kordd is suddenly beamed aboard the Bird of Prey and the people on the bridge are shocked at the thought that Kordd was going to turn against them. The surprise of seeing Spock, later in the gunner’s seat, sort of falls flat. Thank you.

    • I wanted to like this film, back then and I still give it chances but it never clicks. I do think it worked better in the novelization than it did on screen which was also the case for STTMP. The comedy is there, but it’s hit and miss. The campfire scene does work for sure. The Sybok parts seems tacked on and the ending is definitely rushed but the whole idea was a mess and extending it wouldn’t have helped much. It also comes across as Kirk is always right which wasn’t always the case in the original series and that part didn’t sit well with me in this film. It just added to the hokey aspect of the film as a whole. There is just so much about this film that doesn’t fit with the established characters or the whole feeling of Trek. I definitely respect your opinion and glad you took the time to explain your reasons. I love Trek and I’m always glad to hear what other fans have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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